An old mountain road in Himachal Pradesh passing through some spectacular Himalayan terrain is to be revived to attract travellers.
The Hindustan-Tibet Road, built during the British colonial rule to connect Shimla to the Tibetan plateau, passes through Shimla and Kinnaur districts.
Long stretches of the road, immortalised by writer Rudyard Kipling in his classic Kim, lie in neglect, with the new Hindustan Tibet road carved out years later.
The new road passes through the lower altitudes and does not have to be closed for long periods during the winter snowfall, which usually results in closure of the old road.
But adventure seekers, including foreign tourists, can still be seen taking the old route, which offers far more spectacular views of the forests and valleys.
Sensing the potential of the old road to attract large numbers of tourists, the tourism department has chalked out a project to widen and improve the high altitude route.
"We have prepared a Rs 500 million plan to improve the old Hindustan-Tibet road and sent it for approval to the central government for funding," said P S Draik, additional director in the tourism department.
According to the plan, a 170-km stretch of road will be improved. This runs from the resort town of Narkanda, winding through lesser-known places such as Baagi, Khadrala, Sarahan to Wangtoo, to where it joins the new road in Kinnaur valley.
Officials say several little-known scenic spots located on this road have the potential to attract trekkers and tourists in large numbers.